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Letter from Rome: A matter of trust

At the start of this new year, many Catholics continue to hope that Pope Francis can succeed in reforming the Church

Letter from Rome: A matter of trust

Pope Francis delivers a speech during the Mass and baptism of children in the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican on Jan. 9. (Photo: AFP/Vatican Media)

It's customary for Vatican watchers to look into their crystal balls, as it were, at the beginning of every new calendar year.

Some will make bold predictions about what the pope is going to do over the next 12 months. Others will be more cautious and merely point to upcoming events that are already scheduled or issues that are currently being studied.

Making projections during the tenure of Pope Francis, however, is a tricky business. There are an untold number of adjectives that both his allies and enemies use to describe the Jesuit pope, but "predictable" is not often one of them.

Francis, even at the advanced age of 85, has shown that he still has the capacity to pull the proverbial rabbit out of his white hat. And that is probably one of the reasons why he is both loved and loathed.

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